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Old 05-19-2006, 01:03 AM   #1
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Al Gore: A second coming?

Is this a resurgence? Is it a return?

I've followed him quite a bit in recent years because of the work he's done on behalf of progressive environmental issues which I've always had a side interest in.

He gave a brilliant speech on MLK day this year, the entirety of which can be found here.

I was never a huge Gore fan, politically speaking, and I think he ran a terrible campaign. But there is a certain freedom and eloquence with which he speaks today, and for anyone who has bothered to follow him in the last 6 years knows that this is a very different man than the one defeated in 2000.

Some of the excerpts of his speech and I bolded the part I found particularly pertinent.

Quote:
As we begin this new year, the executive branch of our government has been caught eavesdropping on huge numbers of American citizens and has brazenly declared that it has the unilateral right to continue without regard to the established law enacted by Congress precisely to prevent such abuses. It is imperative that respect for the rule of law be restored in our country.

...

A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government.

...

And remember that, once violated, the rule of law is itself in danger. Unless stopped, lawlessness grows, the greater the power of the executive grows, the more difficult it becomes for the other branches to perform their constitutional roles.

As the executive acts outside its constitutionally prescribed role and is able to control access to information that would expose its mistakes and reveal errors, it becomes increasingly difficult for the other branches to police its activities.

And once that ability is lost, democracy itself is threatened and we do become a government of men and not laws.

...

If the president has the inherent authority to eavesdrop on American citizens without a warrant, imprison American citizens on his own declaration, kidnap and torture, then what can't he do?

The dean of Yale Law School, Harold Koh, said after analyzing the executive branch's extravagant claims of these previously unrecognized powers, and I quote Dean Koh, "If the president has commander-in-chief power to commit torture, he has the power to commit genocide, to sanction slavery, to promote apartheid, to license summary execution."

The fact that our normal American safeguards have thus far failed to contain this unprecedented expansion of executive power is itself deeply troubling. This failure is due in part to the fact that the executive branch has followed a determined strategy of obfuscating, delaying, withholding information, appearing to yield but then refusing to do so, and dissembling in order to frustrate the efforts of the legislative and judicial branches to restore a healthy constitutional balance.

...

There are many distinguished and outstanding senators and congressmen serving today. I am honored to know them and to have worked with them.

But the legislative branch of government as a whole, under its current leadership, now operates as if it were entirely subservient to the executive branch.

It is astonishing to me and so foreign to what the Congress is supposed to be.

Moreover, too many members of the House and Senate now feel compelled to spend a majority of their time not in thoughtful debate on the issues but, instead, raising money to purchase 30-second television commercials.

...

But there is yet another player. There is yet another constitutional player whose faults must also be taken and whose role must be examined in order to understand the dangerous imbalance that has accompanied these efforts by the executive branch to dominate our constitutional system.

We the people, collectively, are still the key to the survival of America's democracy. We must examine ourselves. We, as Lincoln put it, even we here must examine our own role as citizens in allowing and not preventing the shocking decay and hollowing out and degradation of American democracy.

It's time to stand up for the American system that we know and love.

It is time to breathe new life back into America's democracy.


...

As I stand here today, I am filled with optimism that America is on the eve of a golden age in which the vitality of our democracy will be re-established by the people and will flourish more vibrantly than ever. Indeed, I can feel it in this hall.

As Dr. King once said, perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.

Thank you very much.
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Old 05-19-2006, 01:42 AM   #2
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Gore's post-2000 activities have been very interesting: co-founding a television network ( http://www.current.tv/ ), appearances in SNL and Futurama, once and a while laying a smackdown to Bush and travelling around the world to deliver his global warming and environment presentations (watch in itself has spawned a feature film: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0497116/ ). He's not spending his time sulking over 2000 thats for sure .
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Old 05-19-2006, 03:27 AM   #3
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The Democratic Party is in trouble if some of its biggest fans are seriously wondering if Al Gore is making a resurgence or any sort of return.

The biggest obstacle the Democrats face in 2008 is themselves. Criticizing the Republicans is always fun and easy, but ultimately won't win the presidential election. Everyone knows what Democrats are against.... what do the Democrats stand for?

Giving speeches in which two-thirds of the text is devoted to Bush-bashing will only energize the base, not convince new voters, moderates and independents to vote for your guy.

Forget Gore, forget Kerry, forget Edwards: align yourselves 100% with a newly moderate Hilary and all should be well (unless another Nader-type candidate gets involved again!).

Allow a more-liberal politician like Feingold into the debates so Hilary will seem more mainstream in comparison (triangulation). Thus, Hilary will escape the primaries relatively unscathed, primed for the bruising battle ahead.

The only Republican that can beat Clinton is Condi Rice, and she's not going to run. McCain will be chewed up again in the primaries, Frist is a stiff, Giuliani has lots of baggage, Allen might not even win his Senate seat this time and Romney is unknown.

The only other Democrats who might look good someday down the road is Evan Bayh (a Senator in a big red state), Obama, and San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom... maybe Hilary will select one of them as her running-mate.
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Old 05-19-2006, 06:38 AM   #4
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it's shades of beat-nixon in '72 all over again. What is scarier is that Nixon, while a vile swine, made today's situation look like a country picnic.
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Old 05-19-2006, 08:01 AM   #5
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We might as well dig up Adlai Stevenson's corpse while we're at it.

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Old 05-19-2006, 09:42 AM   #6
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well, he meets 2 qualifications. He has oil-money and is friendly with the Saudis....
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Old 05-19-2006, 09:47 AM   #7
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rumor on the street is that his upcoming documentary is superb ...
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Old 05-19-2006, 10:07 AM   #8
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For anyone interested, you can find out more about "An Inconvenient Truth" here:

http://www.climatecrisis.net/

It does look damn good.

I for one would welcome him as a presidential candidate, much more so than Kerry or Hilary.
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Old 05-19-2006, 10:48 AM   #9
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It opens here in a couple of weeks, I hope I can squeeze it in before I go to Europe for the summer.
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Old 05-19-2006, 01:11 PM   #10
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Now I've forgotten. Am I supposed to be more afraid of global warming or bird flu? Or was it was still nuclear armageddon? Damn, it's getting hard to keep all these apocalyptic doom & gloom scenarios straight.
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Old 05-19-2006, 02:51 PM   #11
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I'm pleased that Gore isn't just sitting around and twiddling his thumbs. He did run a terrible campaign in 2000 but he's grown quite a bit. The Democratic Party is still a mess. I hope they can get their act together and take the House back.
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Old 05-19-2006, 03:04 PM   #12
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Heaven forbid a man should try to do good things for the world. More power to Gore

By saying that I'm not suggesting he should run in '08, but you don't have to run for office to have leverage.
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Old 05-19-2006, 05:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
We might as well dig up Adlai Stevenson's corpse while we're at it.

Melon
What about Spiro Agnew?
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Old 05-19-2006, 08:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy
What about Spiro Agnew?
His real name was actually "Spiros Anagnostopoulos," you know.

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Old 05-19-2006, 10:08 PM   #15
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Gore winning on a "global warming" scare ticket?
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